Biz Buzz: Tio Alberto’s reopens after fire risk is fixed

Tio Alberto’s, a Mexican restaurant in downtown San Luis Obispo, reopened last weekend after an 18-day closure stemming from a fire hazard issue determined by city and county officials.

The business, at 1131 Broad St., fixed its roof venting system after San Luis Obispo County inspectors, along with the city Building and Fire departments, found that it had been spraying grease onto the roof.

“It was piled up a couple inches thick,” said John Callahan, San Luis Obispo fire chief.

The business was told to stop cooking on Oct. 21 until the equipment was fixed, officials said. The venting system over the kitchen hood appeared to have been modified, or “jury-rigged,” to move air through, Callahan said.

Tio Alberto’s owner, Alberto Hernandez, said that the equipment was old and needed to be replaced.

Officials followed up with a joint inspection of the restaurant on Nov. 6 and approved the fixes, said Brad Prior, county environmental health specialist.

The authorities were tipped off when someone from a neighboring business saw the grease while on a nearby roof, Callahan said.

The eatery, known for its late-night crowds, lost about $50,000 while its doors were closed, Hernandez said. A sign was posted on the window during those weeks saying the business had temporarily closed.

“Lots of people have been coming by saying, ‘Oh no. Tio’s is closed forever,’ ” Hernandez said. “But we’re not. We’re open now and serving burritos like always.”

A history of Tio Alberto’s and other local restaurant county health inspection reports can be found at under the “Restaurant/Grocery Store/Market Inspection Results Search” link.

— Tonya Strickland

Sycamore Mineral Springs applauded

The readers of Spa Magazine have picked Sycamore Mineral Springs as one of their favorite mineral springs spas.

A similar honor has also been given by viewers of SpaFinder, a Web site ( that publishes an annual guide to spas around the world.

“We are very honored to receive these awards by leading spa-related publications,” said Charles Crellin, general manager of Sycamore Mineral Springs, which is located on Avila Beach Drive.

Spa Magazine’s top-rated mineral springs spa was Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa in Corona. Spas in Calistoga and Desert Hot Springs were rated second, third and fourth. Sycamore Mineral Springs ranked fifth. No other spas made the magazine’s listing.

Other categories that the magazine’s readers got to judge were eco-green spas, spas for cuisine, destination spas, spas for couples, cruise line spas and spas for health and wellness.

In SpaFinder’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Sycamore Mineral Springs was one of 11 such spas recognized.

— Tribune staff report